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May 24, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 2

At least one sketch per day was done quickly when I had an opportunity to sketch while we were walking around Venice. 

On Sunday morning, I accompanied my friend Sara to Mass at Basilica San Marco.  It was a great choice, since we had about 45 minutes sitting in one place and could do a pencil sketch of a small part of the beautiful interior.  We were unable to sketch all of the time, but I did try to get some sense of the many vaults and some of the decorations.  I added pen,watercolor, and gold pen and gouache later.

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I did a series of very fast sketches, while my husband was checking our email on Venice Direct WiFi (which is available in the major areas of the city).  Before we left for Italy, I bought a brown Tombow marker which was perfect for these times.  I sketched quickly and then added water to two of the sketches to spread the water soluble ink.  

San Giorgio Maggiore from Riva Degli Schiavoni near Giardini Ex-Reali garden.  I wish I drew straight columns!:

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Another Tombow sketch, several days later, from the same place - but facing La Salute.  This time I didn't add water:

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Interesting architecture in Campo Santa Maria Formosa (Castello) - sketched again while my husband was doing his daily check of our email:

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A short break for Cokes, during a very long walk, gave Sara and I another opportunity for a small sketch in Campo Santa Margherita (Dorsoduro).  The sun felt so good that we even had time to add pen and watercolor.

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May 21, 2012

Venice Sketchbook - Part 1

I did 16 small Venice paintings before we went on vacation, using photos of Venice from our last trip in 2002.  My primary goal was to practice painting water and bridges, while experimenting with texture on the buildings. 

I didn't realize, at the time, that it would make me much more relaxed about sketching while there.  There was no longer any reason for me to go someplace in the City just to sketch.  Instead I carried my sketchbook everywhere, and enjoyed Venice with my husband and friends.  My goal then became to capture an image from wherever we were. 

My sketches can be divided into several categories - and the ones I'm posting today are the ones I did from the apartment.  I enjoyed sitting in front of the window, watching the boats passing, and sketching and painting over several sittings.  The photos of the intersecting canals that we saw from our window were in the last post.

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I also prepared a grid of our Days on Vacation and added something that would remind me of one moment in each day.  Here is the completed Grid.

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May 19, 2012

Home From Venice

We just returned from a fabulous week in Venice and I'm trying to stay awake for 3 more hours in New York to avoid "returning jet lag."  It is currently 2:45 AM Venice time and I started my day there at 6AM.

We rented a lovely apartment, with friends, and it was perfect.  The building is on a very quiet courtyard, only 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco - and on the intersection of 2 small canals.  This is the view from the living room window.

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This is the view from a bedroom window.  I never got tired of watching the gondola traffic on the canals.

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I sketched a map of the location of our apartment, Ca' Vecchio Pozzo (San Marco 998), to begin my sketchbook.

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This is the first of several posts from my photos and travel sketchbook - including some reflections on my practice sketches from my old photos of Venice. 

May 14, 2012

More Pre - Venice Sketchbook Pages

Last summer, the Morgan Library and Museum had a great exhibit about "Lists."  I was really intrigued by a sketchbook list of one artist's packing for a trip.  You can see the watercolor page here on the museum website.

So I decided that I needed to try it - and had a great deal of fun drawing and painting the items going into my suitcase or being worn on the airplane.  I think his trip was shorter than mine.  But then again, men probably pack less than women. 

I'm always guided by my suitcase - and must fit everything I take to wear in a 24" suitcase - including my small leather backpack.  Of course my art supplies, camera, book, etc go into my small carryon.  I don't even take a separate purse - a leftover from the year we traveled back and forth to London regularly when all carry-on bags were SEVERELY limited. 

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I'm going to try to post to my blog from Venice, but we still don't know whether we will have WiFi access. 

May 11, 2012

Venice 2012

We will be leaving for our Venice vacation within the next few days.  I'm obviously very excited to be returning there to celebrate yet another wedding anniversary with my husband and friends.

I recycled a book called Italian Dreams this winter and posted a tutorial for bookbinding on this blog.  And I did some watercolor paintings from photos from my 2002 trip to Venice to get my brain, eyes, and fingers ready for my travel sketchbook.

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This week I started to put entries into my travel sketchbook.  I love to have pages already done by the time we arrive, making it easier to just continue filling the book.

The first page is a tribute to Mari Le Glatin Keis. Here are the powerful ideas that I took from her book and added to my first page.

The Art of Travel With a Sketchbook

Sketching is not about doing "good" drawings or paintings. It is about being in the moment, about putting aside expectations and judgment and letting the hand record what the eyes see with whatever tool you have available.

It is not the aesthetic. It is only about the experience!

Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to be fully in the moment.

In sketching, there is no expectation, no performance, no good or bad. There is just the pure pleasure of describing life as it is. Trust yourself and play. Behind every page , there is a moment, an emotion. No matter how "good" or realistic your rendering is, a simple line or color will bring you right back in the moment. You will be able to see, hear, feel, and smell....Instead of saying "I like this page," I say, "I loved this day."

Mari Le Glatin Keis

My second page shows pencils, pens, easers and brushes in my pencil case.

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My third page is a sample of the watercolors I will have with me: 

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1.  My small palette of Winsor Newton paints.  This palette is small enough to fit into my small backpack or can stay in the apartment and used there.

2.  My Daler Rowney travel watercolor set which easily fits into a pocket.

3.   My 20 selected watercolor pencils which I can carry in a light, flat zipper pencil case - and use in museums where pens may be prohibited.

I am going to try to post some entries during our trip, but we won't know about the quality of our wifi connection until we arrive. 

 

 

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